[The Temple Colonade, Jerusalem, Model]from The Temple (1633), by George Herbert:


¶   Mortification.

         HOw soon doth man decay!
When clothes are taken from a chest of sweets
         To swaddle infants, whose young breath
                        Scarce knows the way;
        Those clouts are little winding sheets,
Which do consigne and send them unto death.

         When boyes go first to bed,
They step into their voluntarie graves,
        Sleep bindes them fast; onely their breath
                        Makes them not dead;
        Successive nights, like rolling waves,
Convey them quickly, who are bound for death.

         When youth is frank and free,
And calls for musick, while his veins do swell,
        All day exchanging mirth and breath
                        In companie;
        That musick summons to the knell,
Which shall befriend him at the houre of death.

         When man grows staid and wise,
Getting a house and home, where he may move
        Within the circle of his breath,
                        Schooling his eyes’
        That dumbe inclosure maketh love
Unto the coffin, that attends his death.

         When age grows low and weak,
Marking his grave, and thawing ev’ry yeare,
        Till all do melt, and drown his breath
                        When he would speak;
        A chair or litter shows the biere,
Which shall convey him to the house of death.

         Man, ere he is aware,
Hath put together a solemnitie,
        And drest his herse, while he has breath
                        As yet to spare;
        Yet Lord, instruct us so to die,
That all these dyings may be life in death.

See Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667). The Practice of Holy Dying.

M. C. Escher's ''Eye.'' [Look into the eye.]

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